What is Reflexology or Zone Therapy?
Reflexology, which is also known as zone therapy is a remedial technique of pain relief which is done by applying subtle pressure on the feet and hands. This method is beneficial in alleviating the discomfort from its source.
Reflexology or Zone Therapy is a form of alternative medicine which involves applying pressure to the feet, hands, and ears with thumb and finger techniques. It is done without using any oil or other forms of lotions etc. The theory of Reflexology or Zone Therapy is centered around claims made by various reflexologists that there are zones and areas which have reflexes, which is an illustration of the whole body, on the feet and hands with the idea that it brings about physical change to the body.
How Does Reflexology or Zone Therapy Work?
There is no agreement between reflexologists as to how this therapy works. The unifying theory is based on the idea that the areas of the foot are equivalent to the areas of the body and that with manipulation the health of an individual is improved. Reflexologists have separated our body into 10 equal zones, of which 5 are right-sided and the same left-sided. There have been questions raised by medical experts that if serious illnesses are treated with reflexology, the effectiveness of which has not been proved, it can lead to a delay in getting proper medical treatment.
Reflexologists have speculated that blockage of the energy flow of the "Ki" is responsible for prevention of healing. Another theory is that people who practice Reflexology or Zone Therapy are able to provide stress relief and relief of pain in parts of the body with manipulation of the feet. There is one explanation that when pressure is applied in the feet, it sends signals which balances the nervous system and releases chemicals like endorphins which help in reducing pain. This theory has not been accepted by general medical professionals who quote no specific scientific evidence to prove it.
The claim made by reflexologists that Reflexology manipulates energy has been quite controversial since there is no scientific evidence that something like "energy flow" in the body or "Ki" exists.
Uses & Benefits of Reflexology or Zone Therapy
Reflexology or Zone Therapy is an alternative pain relief technique. Reflexology is used as an alternative treatment for relieving tension, improve circulation in the body, and promote natural function of the associated areas of the body.
Relaxation: One of the prime benefits of Reflexology or Zone Therapy is that it leads to complete relaxation resulting in a complete balance of all the systems of the body, internal and external. It is also beneficial in the improvement of circulation in the body by stimulating the nervous system.
Improved Recovery Period: Reflexology or Zone therapy can also be beneficial in speeding up the healing process due to increased circulation and stimulation of the nervous system.
Headache: Reflexology or Zone therapy has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of headache. Since it plays an important role in providing relaxation and eliminating stress, it has been found to be effective in the treatment of headache.
Origin of Reflexology or Zone Therapy
According to some historical evidences around 4000 B.C. some form of foot and hand therapy was being practiced in China, in Egypt also at the same time. Reflexology was amended in the 20th century (in the '30s and '40s) by a physiotherapist named Eunice Ingham who asserted that the areas of the body that are the most sensitive are the feet and hands. She connected the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet gave Zone Therapy the name of Reflexology. This theory is renowned in United States of America and the United Kingdom, although modern techniques are also present.
Comparison Between Reflexology and Massage Therapy
Reflexology and massage therapy are generally confused as being the same, but there are quite a few differences between them.
Reflexology is applied only to feet, hands and ears, so as to promote a response from an area whereas massage therapy is applied to the whole body including the muscles and connective tissue for local benefit and when massage therapy is applied to all the muscles of the body it is beneficial for the whole body.